30 Apr. 2018
School Starts on Tuesday, August 29th! Welcome Back from our Director of Education!
Back to School! Classes start on August 29, 2017!
Message from the Director of Education
What a "Back to School” message means depends a great deal on who you are, where you live and if you are around young people; whether that be as parents, grandparents, elders, teachers or community members. In the days ahead, the relaxed atmosphere of the dog days of July and August, transitions into cooler nights, shorter days, and kids with backpacks walking our sidewalks emitting the sounds of laughter. I always think of the parents of first year kindergarten students, and more specifically their emotions, as they send their greatest investment and achievements...their children, off to start school; and in doing so keeping in the back of their minds that 14 years from now they will hopefully graduate from high school.
As the proud Director of Education for the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board, I write this annual message while sifting back and forth between looking out over my favorite Northern Ontario lake in Ear Falls, reflecting on the summer's events dominated by fishing and reading, and feeling the energy and invigoration that working in the service of children brings. I recognize I am biased, but in my own opinion there is no greater calling than EDUCATION.
September is almost here, and I welcome all of our students, staff and families back to our schools! Our schools in the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board are sparkling. Much capital work has been completed in Red Lake, Dryden, and Kenora; and work in Sioux Lookout on our new Sioux North High School has begun and is on track! There is a feeling in the air of excitement, enthusiasm, renewed energy and thoughts of the year ahead with all of the promise and hope that public education can bring….education truly is the great leveler of the field. And nowhere in this province of Ontario is education more important than right here in the Northwest.
September marks the beginning of new chapters for many students and families, but also for our staff who eagerly await the arrival of faces of young learners, looking to be inspired and they themselves inspiring those around them with stories of resilience and optimism.
The past year for us in the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board was a powerful reminder of what can be and what hard work and innovation can achieve, when we work together and think outside-of-the-box. I see our hard work and enthusiasm as absolute traits of us Northerners. I also want to take the opportunity to extend best wishes to all in the region for a successful year ahead, and specifically to the students, families and staff of the Kenora Catholic District School Board, Conseil scolaire de district catholique des Aurores boreales, and Northwest Catholic District School Board. May we work together in a spirit of cooperation that supports all students in the name of public education, and as always, put their needs first!
As the Director of Education for the KPDSB, I assure all parents and students that our commitment to the needs of Northern Children, your children, remains resolved, determined and assuredly uncompromising.
Best wishes for 2017-2018.
Director of Education
Register for Kindergarten NOW!
We have launched a brand new online resource for families with children starting Kindergarten in the fall (children born in 2013 can start Kindergarten in the fall of 2017).
Our new website can be found at http://buddysystem.ca/
Families can visit the site for everything Kindergarten, including:
- Videos of parents and staff talking about our schools and programs
- Our Full-Day Kindergarten programs
- Dates and times for our schools’ Kindergarten Open Houses
- Specialized programming like our popular Hockey Canada Skills Academies and French Immersion programs
- A new online registration process families can complete from the comfort of their own home
- And so much more!
Keewatin-Patricia Announces Significant Changes to Administration Team, Completes System Restructuring
Media Release - May 10, 2017
Trustees met at Crolancia Public School in Pickle Lake on Tuesday, May 9, for a regular board meeting.
The May “Students Come First” presentation titled ‘Kids in the Kitchen and Athletic Education at Crolancia’ was received by Trustees. Staff members Amanda Pedalino and Kayla Blakney, accompanied by Crolancia students, shared some of the ways they are thinking outside the box to deliver athletic and extracurricular activities to their students. One example of this work is the partnership between Crolancia and Ignace Public School to allow both schools to participate in area sports tournaments. Students said being able to participate in different sports has encouraged them to be more active, improved their confidence, and provided opportunities for them to face and overcome challenges. Other examples include an after-school healthy eating cooking class provided through a partnership with the area Northwestern Health Unit where students learn about healthy eating options, safe food preparation and cooking skills.
Candice Kerkermeier, Children’s Mental Health Lead, presented the Children’s Mental Health Update. The KPDSB Mental Health and Addictions Strategy for the 2016-2017 school year is guided by three main goals; building organizational mental health and wellbeing, increasing mental health literacy, and changing classroom climate. The work around the strategy is vast, including training for all staff to become a trauma informed and proactive response Board, incorporating student voice through student mental health focus groups, identifying mental health champions in each school and office, conducting staff mental health needs assessments, and resource development to support staff. For more information and access to resources, please visit the recently developed Mental Health section on our website at *|SITE_URL|*pages/view/mental-health.
Superintendents Caryl Hron and Joan Kantola presented the KPDSB Administration and Business Report. The following appointments were announced for the 2017-2018 school year.
Dryden High School
- Principal – Richard Hodgkinson (currently KPDSB Adult and Alternative Education Administrator)
- Vice-Principal – Natasha Menard-Mousseau (currently central Teacher Diagnostician)
- Richard and Natasha will join current Vice-Principal Brad Bartlett as the administration team for DHS
New Prospect Public School (Dryden)
- Principal – Kelly Schollie (currently Principal of Lillian Berg Public School in Vermilion Bay)
- Vice-Principal – Ryan Graham (currently acting Vice-Principal at Dryden High School)
Open Roads Public School (Dryden)
- Principal – Tanis Oberg (currently Principal of New Prospect Public School)
- Vice-Principal – Teri Jackson (currently Vice-Principal of New Prospect Public School)
Lillian Berg Public School
- Principal – Humberto Pacheco (currently central Technology and Assistive Technology Administrator)
Sioux Mountain Public School (Sioux Lookout)
- Principal of Sioux Mountain and KPDSB Adult and Alternative Education – Steve Poling (currently Co-Administrator of Sioux Mountain Public School)
- Vice-Principal – Barb Van Diest (currently Vice-Principal of Ear Falls Public School)
- Vice-Principal - Andy Schardt Sioux Mountain & Queen Elizabeth District High School K-12 Transition (currently Co-Administrator of Sioux Mountain Public School)
Ear Falls Public School
- Vice-Principal – Doris St. Jules (currently Vice-Principal of Golden Learning Centre in Balmertown)
Evergreen Public School (Kenora)
- Principal – Shannon Bailey (currently acting Principal of Evergreen Public School)
Ignace Public School
- Vice-Principal – Adele Bernaudo-Marth (currently acting Vice-Principal of Ignace Public School)
System Administrator Support
- Safe and Supportive Schools (Kenora) – Gayle Mutrie (currently Vice-Principal of King George VI Public School in Kenora)
- Teacher Diagnostician and Special Equipment Amount (Dryden) –Syrena Lalonde (currently Principal of Open Roads Public School in Dryden)
Sean Monteith, Director of Education, said “With the appointment of our new Superintendent of Business and with the multiple school administration appointments and assignments, the reorganization of Keewatin-Patricia District School Board’s organizational structure is now complete. After two years of careful planning and strategic conversations, our schools and students are well placed for success looking ahead.”
KPSDB appoints new Superintendent of Business
Media Release - May 9, 2017
Trustees of the KPDSB are pleased to announce the appointment of Richard Findlay to Superintendent of Business and Chief Financial Officer for the Board, effective July 2017.
Findlay began his accounting career with the Kenora Board of Education in 1992 and has since worked in both the private and public sectors throughout Northwestern Ontario. He has held leadership roles in accounting, finance, and business consulting and for the past nine years has owned his own public practice accounting firm in Kenora. Findlay is active in his community, he has been coaching youth sports for nearly two decades, and is currently an elected Director on the Copperfin Credit Union board.
Findlay stated ““My career journey has come full circle and I am back at Keewatin-Patricia where I started out. With experience in both the private and public sectors, I hope to bring a unique perspective to the senior management team. Together we all have an opportunity to contribute in innovative ways to the development of our students.” He added “I am excited and honoured to be joining an organization dedicated and devoted to putting kids first. I share this vision and I am here to support the success of all students in our board in any way possible. I look forward to working with our dedicated, hard-working, and passionate staff throughout the system.”
Dave Penney, Chair of the KPDSB Board of Trustees, said “We welcome Richard to our organization and look forward to working closely with him. His expertise will be a valuable resource for our organization and we wish him all the best in his new role.”
Sean Monteith, Director of Education, added “We are pleased to have Richard assume the role as Superintendent of Business for the KPDSB; his experiences in both public and private sectors, as well as his unwavering commitment to kids make this addition to an already strong Senior Administration, a natural fit. As Director I am pleased for the KPDSB, and welcome his innovative thinking to a restructured organization, built for the future, built for kids."
Dean Carrie, current Superintendent of Business, will be retiring at the end of the 2016-2017 school year after 30 years with the public school board.
Nishnawbe Aski Nation and KPDSB Sign Historic Memorandum of Understanding
JOINT MEDIA RELEASE - May 11, 2017
TIMMINS, ON: Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) and the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board (KPDSB) are pleased to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to enhance educational services and opportunities for students and staff. This historic MOU represents an invested commitment and partnership to support NAN and KPDSB students and staff.
“Nishnawbe Aski Nation students, whether attending First Nation or provincial schools deserve education opportunities that will enable them to follow their dreams,” said NAN Deputy Grand Chief Derek Fox. “For far too long, First Nations students have fallen through the large divide between these two systems. By working together we can ensure that we are focused on student success. We appreciate the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board’s commitment to improve education outcomes and we look forward to strengthening our relationship.”
The agreement was signed today in Timmins, Ontario during the NAN Chiefs Spring Assembly. The signing of the MOU is an important step to help NAN students reach their full learning potential, and at opportunities comparable to the general student population in Ontario.
“With this signing, Nishnawbe Aski Nation and the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board take the unprecedented step of partnering together, putting the interests of children ahead of mandates, policies, and bureaucracy,” said KPDSB Director of Education Sean Monteith, “Perhaps most importantly, achieving this not by directive but rather by an ethical responsibility to Northern Ontario, and students and parents from NAN communities who look to education as the leveler of the field. Today is a day worth remembering, we are very pleased.’
The MOU focuses on several priority areas to improve educational outcomes for NAN students in both NAN First Nation operated schools and provincial schools. The priority areas include:
- Student Support Services – Development and implementation of strategies to support student safety and well-being measures, including mental health, student transition and orientation programs, parent engagement initiatives, support mechanisms for students living away from home, student retention strategies, involvement in extra-curricular activities, and the development of a First Nation student anti-addiction education program.
- Curriculum – Strategies to enhance the inclusion and integration of First Nation history, culture, perspectives and language within the provincial curriculum as appropriate.
- Professional Development – Strategies to support staff in meeting the holistic learning needs of First Nation students, development of strategies to facilitate cross-cultural training and professional development for educators in the provincial education system.
- Communication – Identification of mechanisms to improve communication between provincially funded schools and First Nation schools.
- Human Resources – Explore options to facilitate increasing the number of First Nation staff, including the participation of elders, in provincial schools.
- Parental Participation – Strategies to facilitate improved parental communication with, and involvement in, the provincially funded schools their children attend.
Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) represents 49 First Nation communities in James Bay Treaty No. 9 and Ontario portions of Treaty No. 5 – an area covering two thirds of the province of Ontario in Canada.
The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board (KPDSB) delivers high-quality educational programming to more than 5000 elementary, secondary and adult education learners across Northwestern Ontario.
For more information please contact: Sheena Valley, Communications Officer- Keewatin- Patricia District School Board (807)223-5311 Ext.247 or by email email@example.com
For more information please contact: Tamara Piché, Communications Officer – Nishnawbe Aski Nation (807) 625-4906 or cell (807) 621-5549 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org